Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sometimes Farming isn't Glamorous

Bedded pack is the handy euphemism for hay and/or wood shavings mixed with animal poop & pee that builds up for several months, generally in the winter. It is quite a convenient method and ensures we capture those nutrients for compost. Well it is convenient until you have to remove it. One day recently Mari decided it really was time to clear out the goat pen, she even offered to do it while I worked on other things. I felt mildy guilty leaving her in their pen with a pitchfork and a large wagon, but she does love physical work and she is chief of compost.

But all good things do have to come to an end, so after lunch I was drafted and we had a long way to go. Amazingly the pack of hay, poop and pee was over a foot deep in some places and it was already composting. It was quite satisfying and the compost pile is now hopping, getting ready for our plants this summer. And when the goats came back in to their pen from outside, their reach was no longer quite as high. And us farmers were tired and needed a hot bath. But one project that had been lingering on the to-do list was done, always a good feeling.

I am also happy to report that the goats have slimmed down and they haven't even been that grumpy about it. Though they do comment, sometimes loudly, when they hear the pigs getting grain.
(Photos: Mari 2/3 of the way done; the goats back in their clean pen)


  1. Just imagine the volume if those were 13 horses in that goat pen! Funny is doin' her bit, but she's no match for a baker's dozen.

  2. I think if there was a winter bedded pack for Funny, at this point in the year she would no longer fit in the barn. We thank her for contributions to our compost pile.

  3. You need to incorporate a dump bed floor with a beefy hydraulic system! move the animals out...push the button... watch the floor rise up and dump the bedding...preferably into the back of your manure spreader! I am thinking about building one soon as we use your archaic method in the pig hoophouse. Will let you know when i perfect it!:}